Chris Manning , the last Head of Loughton County High and the first head of Roding Valley High
School, has died aged 78.
She trained to teach Maths and came to Loughton in 1985 committed to lead a school with a long
tradition. She brought new ideas and teaching styles. She was an excellent role model for girls and
young women having reached the top of her chosen profession. Always elegant, apparently calm,
approachable and very hard working, she dealt with the many challenges of headship with a
toughness belied by her gentle manner.
No sooner had she taken up the headship than she was informed that LCHS was to be merged with
Buckhurst Hill County High, Epping Forest High and the joint sixth form Centre. This was a
tremendous task which Chris undertook with determination and resilience. She created a new
senior team, a staff drafted from the three diverse schools, a timetable running on four sites and
buildings fit to accommodate the new school. She galvanised the parents and when the school
opened in 1989 every student was in the new uniform.
However, the advent wreath hung over the door each Christmas.
Roding Valley quickly became the school of choice in the local area.
The official opening of the school by the Princess Royal in May 1991 was a public highlight of Chris’
Chris enjoyed a happy retirement relishing her garden, her friends and family, her energetic dogs
and enjoying theatre and exercise.
She leaves a son and daughter.
She also leaves a legacy of teachers and former students who have reason to thank her.
Chris Manning striding out at the front of the ten mile sponsored walk 1991